5:2 LifeStyle – Report Two – Twenty-five days into the journey and progress is on target: Read to the end to discover the figures. Today I want to write about the principals of fasting: 5:2 is a simple system of keeping to a set level of calorie intake for five days and then fasting for two.
During the two days of fasting, the calorie intake can be no higher than six-hundred for the whole day. This is not as difficult as it seems. And I have made life much easier by adding the 5:2 app to my phone. At 2:99 it is a real bargain. There are hundreds of recipes and a limited calorie counter. My feeling is by learning the calorie numbers you can make a symphony of dishes with ease.
In the long term: cupboards, fridge and freezer will be loaded with 5:2 friendly foods. Liz has also decided to run with 5:2 so the whole process will be relatively easy. The most important consideration at this moment is the mindset.
My feeling is meditation morning and evening is essential to fix the mind to the objective:
Each morning and evening I visualise my body as healthy: with a perfectly functioning liver and pancreas. Excess weight and visceral fat are stealing life hours and restricting enjoyment, happiness and pleasure from my waking day. The excess is hampering long and restorative sleep. As the days pass the body will attain its target weight, and then the choice can be made to either go for optimum or stay at the target. For the moment this meditation will be crucial to determination: there is no reference to how changes are being made: the inner-being only considers the reasons for the change.
What about physical changes and how do I feel?
In the Fast Diet book, there is a reference to feeling out of sorts and mentioning the possibility of headaches. Headaches have not been an issue: I have experienced the ‘out of sorts’ feeling mentioned in the book: a vague and uncomfortable sensation ‘within’ the whole body. Don’t put this down to blood sugar levels: the feeling it seems to be an ‘awareness’ something or changes are happening within my body.
I made a big mistake during a fasting day: walking too far and too fast. An hour into the walk a nauseous and dizzy sensation and light perspiration indicted something amiss. My breakfast has been a small bowl of spelt (more about this in a moment) an amount insufficient for the exercise. Fortunately: Mr Sainsbury came to the rescue. One apple, banana and a litre of water later I felt on top of the world. This mistake will not reoccur, and I now spilt breakfast and evening meal 300:300 calories. No problem with this adjustment: I can walk six or seven thousand steps and feel tip-top.
Zero Sugar Breakfast:
Why is sugar bad for us?
Sugar has no nutritional benefit. It is regularly termed as ’empty’ calories as it is pure energy with no proteins, essential fats, vitamins or minerals. Large amounts are linked with raised insulin levels: which increase the diabetes risk. The body converts surplus sugar into fat and stores it around the vital organs, placing us at risk of liver and heart disease.
The benefits of a sugar-free or low sugar intake:
Sugar is quickly metabolised into blood sugar, which prompts your body to release insulin: insulin surges promote fat storage. By contrast, foods that are low on the glycemic index such as oats, vegetables and whole grain: produce lower blood-sugar and insulin fluctuations, and keep energy levels balanced. The advantage is we feel fuller for more extended periods.
Lower risk of diabetes:
Reducing sugar significantly improves health and reduces the risk of diabetes. Sugars increase the risk of being overweight which raises diabetes risk. My objective is to lose visceral fat and avoid becoming diabetic. Therefore my time has been taken to research the benefits of being processed sugar-free. My reasoning is if it’s not in nature, then I do not need to consume very much.
Incidentally: This does not mean I will not indulge during 2200 calorie no fasting days. If I feel a slice of cheesecake or portion of ice cream is ok. Then I’ll not deprive myself of the treat. Remember. It is the early days of the lifestyle change, and there is much to learn and test. The point of 5:2 is it is easy and seems to suit my body. It is essential for me to learn about the subject. Knowledge is power, make no mistake; the more experience possessed, the better we succeed.
An effective way of rebalancing blood sugar which works for me is a zero sugar breakfast. The ingredients are slow burn which means I feel fuller for longer. High fibre food plays a role in achieving or maintaining a healthy weight because it keeps you feeling fuller for longer. Just increasing fibre intake has excellent benefits.
Fibre reduces diabetes risk:
Studies suggest consuming high-fibre foods, such as spelt, can reduce the risk of diabetes. This is because fibre slows down digestion and reduces sudden surges in blood sugar. It keeps you feeling fuller for longer.
Many already know about spelt. Spelt is an ancient member of the wheat family. Spelt is an evolutionary hybrid of emmer wheat and goatgrass. It has high energy content, and The Romans called it the ‘marching grain’. Lower yielding than modern wheat, spelt is not as readily available. It is genetically purer and often tolerated better by those with wheat sensitivities. It is not gluten-free. Spelt is rich in dietary fibre, thiamin, copper, manganese, niacin and phosphorus, vitamins B2 and 3.
I use a breakfast slow burn combination of Spelt, bran sticks and Aldi wheat shreds. Fifty grams of each provided on a none fasting day 450 calories. Plus 200ml of Oatley adds another 100 calories. The combination is almost zero sugar-free and at 550 calories provides one-quarter of my daily intake. The fascinating aspect of the mix is six hours after eating this breakfast. I still do not feel hungry. With no sugar in the food and slow burning ‘feel full’ it is an absolute winner.
On fasting days I reduce the quantities by half, and there is NO feeling of hunger until mid-afternoon. I eat two meals during fasting days — breakfast and evening meal. The dishes are from the 5:2 App recipes or the choice is a stack of green vegetables, small portion of rice and a little poached egg. There are tons of recipes for 300 calorie meals. Finding a variety of different recipes for 5:2 is not a problem.
I see no point in varying the breakfast formula. Many people will consider the spelt: bran and shredded wheat a boring combination. There’re many other breakfast options available; from my perspective, the need is a zero sugar, slow burn breakfast. I do not see this in any other way. I could eat a great tasting traditional breakfast: or I could go for fruit and low sugar cereal. But this is not for me at the moment. It will change as the weight and blood sugars stabilise, for the time being, this is my choice.
Drinking plenty of water is essential! Five litres a day if you wish. I have become addicted to sparkling water and lemon! I used not like sour foods: it seems my body has developed a craving for vitamin C. No problem here a lemon has eight calories, orange sixty, apple fifty and a banana ninety-five. On none fasting days you can eat them till the cows come home (provided you keep a tally of the consumption!). Apples are the secret weapon low calorie and slow fructose release as are other fruits.
One last thought: I am keeping away from processed food. As fresh food is easy to prepare and maintain a calorie count. I’m also committed to zero waste larder. Everything purchased will be used.
Here are the latest figures:
Previous Weight: 20 stones 11.5 pounds.
Todays Weight: 20 stones 6.5 pounds.
Loss: 5 pounds.
Total loss of 12.5 lbs.
This is an acceptable level for the thirteen days since the previous article.